Biodiesel swelling and hardening/cracking [8], and engine

Biodiesel is one of the best-tested alternative fuels and the only alternative fuel to meet all of the testing requirements of the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act 9. An optimum blend (biofuel and diesel) will achieve better energy economy and performance characteristics, environmental protection (less HC, CO, NOx emissions) and optimum cold weather performance. Also, it will overcome some general engine issues such as filter plugging 5, injector coking, piston ring sticking and breaking 10, elastomer seal swelling and hardening/cracking 8, and engine lubricant degradation. However, incorrect blending ratio of biodiesel with petroleum diesel has been the obstacle in achieving these benefits. Inaccurate blends cause inefficient combustion, produce less thermal efficiency and emit high level of NOx 11 14. Aspects such as thermal stability, flow at low temperatures, corrosivity, cleanliness, etc. are also greatly affected.

Also, over time, industrial gas turbines are designed to function in a fuel flexible manner; engines are developed to run on a range of gaseous and liquid fuels. Current and planned gas turbine engines use fuel as their primary heat sink. When jet fuel is thermally stressed, it will form gums and deposits. These deposits can block engine fuel nozzles, causing damage to the engine hot sections, especially the combustor region. The fuel’s thermal stability is a critical fuel property with respect to optimum performance of modern gas turbine engines 4 8. Also, the motives of attaining carbon neutrality, high engine efficiency and overcoming existing problems of petrodiesel fuel in power generation or gas turbines prompt blending of bio-derived fuels with the conventional diesel. However, biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine when mixed with mineral diesel. Since the best proportion of bio-component to diesel is highly vital for good energy performance and safety of the environment.

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The major problem found with biodiesel blends was inaccurate blend ratios. The fact that biodiesel is typically denser than petroleum diesel and the cold flow properties can change with different biodiesel feedstocks adds challenges to getting an adequate mix during blending 1.This research work aims at solving inaccuracy in fuel blends.

Brief descriptions of the terms associated with the research are given below.